Retail sales rose marginally in January from December, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday. Sales for the month came out 0.1 percent ahead of December at $416.6 billion. Sales, however, were 4.4 percent higher than January 2012, the bureau said.
For the month, sales growth from non-store sources outpaced brick and mortar stores considerably. Non-store retailers, which include catalog and Internet sales, rose 15.7 percent from January 2012, the monthly report said.
Automobile sales also held up, climbing 9.4 percent in January compared to the same month of 2012.
From a year earlier, sporting goods, hobby and book sales rose 7 percent, while food and beverage sales increased 2.8 percent. At grocery stores, sales rose 2.9 percent from January 2012.
A few categories saw declining sales. Healthcare and personal care store sales dropped 0.9 percent from January 2012 to January 2013. Department store sales were down 0.6 percent in the same period. General merchandise sales dropped 1 percent January to January.
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